america's idol

last night, when adam lambert and kris allen stood center stage in front of the tiny orange creature known as ryan seacrest, i couldn't help but set my general air of snobbery aside. i was giddier than a schoolgirl, wracked with nerves, and anxiously awaiting the news that would either leave me squealing with joy or groaning in disappointment.

i was disappointed.

yes, i was/am an adam lambert fan. i mean, seriously, what's not to love about a man who can hit higher notes than mariah, sport more makeup than a 17 year-old slut at prom, and rock out in platform boots so high that i got vertigo just watching him?!?! of course, i also think adam is RIDICULOUSLY talented. like, seriously, SUPERGOOD. i get that some people may find him a little too much to handle, or that his style/sound doesn't really float their boats, but people who flat-out think he sucks are f'n NUTS. (haters: watch this video. and stop being so mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJYyqzUr6jU)

now lets get to the real meat of this issue (in my world, at least): THE GAYNESS.

i somehow doubt i'm out-scooping people magazine on this one, but adam lambert is gay, y'all. i am the first to admit that i was smitten with the idea of having adam be the first gay american idol (clay aiken does NOT count. it took him like 6 years and 123451324 manhunt scandals to admit the obvious), and part of my idol-ehthusiasm this season was definitely driven by his pretty-freaking-overt-and-out-there sexuality, all while set against the backdrop of our current political and social environment. it's pretty obvious to me (and stay tuned for an upcoming blog on the subject pleasethankyou) that we're on the cusp of a civil rights movement for a new (gay) generation. gay and lesbian issues are hot topics in the media and on capitol hill, our communities are banding together in visible activism, and straight society is waking up to the not-so-novel notion of equality for all. and somehow, last night, with kris and adam standing there while america watched, i couldn't help shake the feeling that i was witnessing a mise-en-scene playing out our nation's latest social drama.

there they stood: kris, the adorable, married (at 23 - eeeeek!!), ministry-leading, average joe dressing, acoustic-y singer/songwriter type; and adam, the satin suit wearing, perfectly coiffed, practically-pissing-glitter glam rocker. having each received millions of votes to reach the finale, it's clear that these are two talented, charismatic guys, both of whom have the support of a dedicated fan base. but what particular demographics make up their respective fan bases? i think it is fair to assume that they're both pretty popular in the "ridiculous and annoyingly obsessed teenage girl" segment. if i were a 16 year-old during this season's AI, i can promise you that i would be walking around telling everyone i was IN LOVE with one or both of them, and that their posters would be plastered all over my walls. but this is where i think things diverge a bit for kris and adam's fans.

at the risk of sounding like every other commentator out there, i think there's a pretty noticeable "god factor" in the works here - as the crux of the issue in both our little TV sing-off and our real life national melodrama. politically, americans are being divided more and more strongly along the lines of religion and its place in our legislation, moral compass and national psyche. socially, this division is fairly obviously applicable to the adam vs. kris singing showdown: kris is the jesus-loving, churchgoing heartthrob whom all good little christian girls want to marry, while (in the eyes of the religious right, at least) adam is the drag-dressing, boy-kissing, hit-us-over-the-head-with-the-gay sexual deviant hell bent on destroying the sanctity of the right to get a divorce (or marriage, however you look at it). it's a pretty logical conclusion that those who fall on the more conservative, christian side of the fence miiiight not be not be such big adam lambert fans, and might, by default, vote for kris.

now, before you get your panties in a twist, i'd like to clairfy two things:

1. kris is talented, appealing, and uber marketable (which is what AI is all about, really), and i do not mean to belittle his accomplishments. GO KRIS! strum your little heart out, you adorable, silly-face-making boy!

2. i am, in no way, implying that a vote for kris = a vote for homophobia, or that disliking adam makes you a right-wing nutjob whose vernacular consists primarily of phrases like "commie-loving bastard" and "get your faggy ass away from that ricky martin poster, boy."

however, the fact remains that (in my opinion, at least, yo!) adam's talent eclipses kris' by like... a lot. yet somehow, he didn't win. how did this happen? without specific statistical, demographic and geographic breakdowns, it is difficult to pinpoint... but i don't think it's much of a stretch to attribute a portion of kris' votes to viewers who simply don't like adam for being gay. it's the sad truth about the world we live in, kids. BUT this isn't all doom and gloom! as i mentioned before (and will say again and again and again...), the times, they are a' changin'. i DO believe that americans are changing the way they look at the gay community; i DO believe that many, many, many voters cast their ballots regardless of sexual orientation or religious beliefs; and i DO believe that if americans were really that homo-hating, adam wouldn't have made it this far in the first place.

having said allllllll of that (believe me, i could go on, but i'm worried i've already scared off anyone reading this, cuz, seriously, i'm verbose), i'm committed to remaining a big fan of adam lambert's. he's undeniably talented, but, more importantly, he's never flinched in being himself. he is who he is, and he's ok with that - even on a national stage. and it looks like many americans are down with the glambert, too!!! so i say: "work it out, sister," to adam, and "yay we don't totally suck, USA!"

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